130 home scheme in Ottery rejected

Controversial plans to build 130 homes in Ottery have been thrown out without even reaching a committee.

Redrow Homes wanted to build on land behind Butts Road, but planners at East Devon District Council (EDDC) rejected the proposals last Friday.

The move was welcomed by campaign group Protect Ottery St Mary (POSM), who had argued against building on the grade two agricultural land.

But the developer said it was ‘disappointed’ the proposals were not even debated by councillors before being dismissed.

A report from EDDC planning officials said there was no justification for building on the site, which sat outside the built-up area boundary (BUAB) for Ottery.

Redrow’s agent, Ian Jewson Planning, had argued the council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply, and should have looked favourably on the application, despite it contravening countryside planning policy.

But EDDC said it could prove it had enough land for homes without building outside BUAB’s.

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It said there was sufficient reason to reject the scheme before it even got to the council’s Development Management Committee, where it was expected to be discussed next week.

There were almost 300 letters of objection posted to the council from local residents, and Ottery Parish Council, along with district councillors David Cox and Roger Giles, were also strongly against the plans

Richard North, from POSM, said the group was ‘very pleased’ with the decision, but warned they expected more proposals affecting the town in the near future.

Lee Hawker, Redrow’s land director said: “We are disappointed that our application has been refused by Officers and did not get the chance to be fully and properly debated by members of the Council’s Planning Committee.

Mr Hawker added it could have provided significant additional benefits to the community, and said Redrow has yet to decide on an appeal.